Samsung Galaxy SIII – Learning to love it

I traded in my two year old HTC Nexus One last week and trotted home with a gleaming Samsung Galaxy SIII.

I fully expected to fall in love with it in a whirl of wonderment at its incredible features.

I sort of did.  And I sort of didn’t.

It’s the settings. All of them. The hundreds and hundreds of settings. Now, don’t get me wrong, one of the reasons that I am an Android fan is because I like settings, but Samsung have taken the average set of settings and fed them a growth supplement. Getting the alarm clock to function as I wished took more patience than a body should by rights be expected to display at post-eleven pm. I pride myself on my ability to get settings figured out fast. The Galaxy S3 has dented my pride somewhat.

It’s also the keyboard. It is chronically unusable. For the first few hours I thought it wasn’t too bad and I waited to get used to it. A week later and I had realised it wasn’t me, it was the phone. I gave up and installed Ice Cream Sandwich Keyboard from Google Play. A security risk maybe, but my goodness, was it a relief to be able to type properly again.

Now, about the size. It’s a little on the big side. I keep having to fight the urge to shout “I’m on the PHONE” in a Dom Joly-esque style whenever I answer it in public. But then, it could be worse, I could have got the Note, which would have been like answering the phone using a tea-tray.

I’ll learn to use it, I’m sure, but if I can’t do an unlock pattern one-handed without losing control of the phone, then I’d hazard not only that it’s a mite on the unwieldy side, but that our upcoming 2 year relationship is going to be a long one.

On the other hand, because the positives are many; the camera is stunning, the screen is beautiful, ICS apps are running nicely (with the exception of Facebook, whose last few updates have not served it well), call quality is excellent, signal finding is better than the Nexus One, the phone is a lovely weight and pebble blue is practically black, so that was pleasing.

Here are some other quick observations:

  • The backcover is plastic, and that cheapens the phone. I secretly wanted the kevlar back of the Razr – just not on the Razr
  • Battery life is superb, it is set up to use power-saver mode automatically and I have got well over a day of good use out from it without charging.
  • The speaker is good quality
  • The flash is horrid
  • Putting the phone on its face to mute incoming calls and alerts is a neat trick
  • But not as neat as dragging the side of your hand across the screen to take a screenshot. That’s nifty.

I have no doubt that I will grow to love it. I’ll have to. Unless someone sends me something to review I’m stuck with it on a 24 month contract. And as sure as a cat’s a hairy beast, I’ll have just stopped whinging and started to defend it when Jelly Bean lands to throw a gelatine soaked spanner in the works.

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